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A comparative analysis of business strategies for professional cricket and rugby in South Africa since 1994.

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This study is focused on professional sport in South Africa, in particular the three most popular sporting codes in South Africa: football (soccer), rugby and cricket. Its aim is to develop a business model which will transform and develop South African sports organisations into inclusive and successful businesses. South African sports teams are internationally competitive, but within the country sport has to deal with several challenges. These include breaking the historical negative associations of rugby and cricket, transforming these sports so they are considered inclusive, and financing their growth and development. The literature review examines the history of sport in South Africa, the nature of inclusive sport, the transformation process required for inclusivity, and sport as business. Rugby, cricket and football have different histories in South Africa, and have different levels of transformation. The research philosophy used is pragmatism, associated with mixed-methods research. Both quantitative data, using survey results, and qualitative data, with semi-structured interviews, are employed. These choices are validated in the conclusion. While football is considered by government to be fully transformed in terms of the Transformation Charter, this is not yet the case for rugby and cricket. It is argued in this thesis that these sports need to transform rapidly, not just to satisfy government, but also for good business reasons, in reaching a much enlarged market. Broadcasting rights are increasingly the major source of income for sporting bodies, with stadium attendance declining. Rugby and cricket are currently broadcast on pay-TV DSTV Premium channels, which brings substantial income, but a limited audience. Free-to-air SABC only broadcasts international rugby and cricket matches, as sports of national interest. It is argued that ways need to be found to increase the reach of rugby and cricket, on DSTV Compact or SABC. Another current challenge is the player drain, with many high-profile players playing overseas, which has a negative effect on stadium attendance and revenue. In an attempt to provide a sustainable model for the funding of transformation and development of sport in South Africa, the potential of using a B-BBEE solution was investigatedas a case study.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.